RIM Throws in the towel, will offer BES for Android and iOS

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Well, it seems that RIM has finally realized what everyone else has known for a long time; the Blackberry is toast. This first step won't allow your Android device to connect to a BES server, but it will allow the type of security controls that come with it.

RIM is introducing a Multi-Platform Blackberry Enterprise Solution for Smartphones and Tablets:

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Optional components will include BlackBerry Enterprise Server and BlackBerry Enterprise Server Express for BlackBerry devices, and a separate, secure device management server for Android and iOS devices (based on the foundation of ubi-Suite from ubitexx). It will be possible to deploy multiple components in a vitalized environment on a single server.

What that means is that if you are using an Android device at work it would be possible for your employer to use this new Blackberry Enterprise Solution to control which apps can be installed and what services the device can use, just like what can currently be done on a Blackberry. While the release specifically lists Android and iOS compatibility let's not forget that RIM just started selling that Playbook tablet that can't connect to BES either.

RIM has been losing smartphone market share for some time and those losses have  only accelerated in the Android era. While it's nice to book revenue from the sale of each Blackberry device it's even better to book the recurring fees that are associated with BES connectivity from Android and iOS users. It's a very smart move.

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Introducing the Playbook and QNX in such a reactionary fashion has only served to exacerbate the fragmentation that has engulfed the Blackberry OS over the last several years. Not only does the Playbook not run Blackberry OS it has no out of the box BES connectivity. The buyout of ubitexx is first and foremost about the Playbook. The income from Android and iOS connectivity will be like found money.

From: RIM